Wrexham owners Reynolds and McElhenney had tense near-miss during promotion bash
Reynolds and McElhenney join Wrexham players on bus parade
Wrexham’s promotion heroes narrowly missed a potentially awkward showdown with Sheffield United in Las Vegas, where tensions could have boiled over after their fiery FA Cup clash earlier this season. Dragons owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney gave players the VIP treatment after flying them out to America, before the side’s preparation for the fourth tier begins.
Reynolds and McElhenney’s ownership of Wrexham has caught the nation’s attention. Significant investment finally paid dividends this campaign as they held off a spirited challenge from Notts County to win the National League, with a record-breaking haul of 111 points.
Having ended a 15-year hiatus from League Two, Wrexham’s Hollywood owners treated the players to a lavish celebratory Las Vegas trip. According to The Athletic, Reynolds and McElhenney managed to get the squad VIP treatment at exclusive nightclubs and dinner next to the fountains of the Bellagio.
The trip of a lifetime could have turned sour, however, as they came perilously close to crossing paths with the Sheffield United squad out in Nevada.
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The Blades jetted over to America after completing their open-top bus parade around Sheffield on Thursday, marking their automatic promotion back to the Premier League. Thankfully for Reynolds and McElhenney, their Wrexham players had already returned home.
The two sides contested a thrilling FA Cup tie across January and February, with a replay at Bramall Lane required after a 3-3 draw in Wales. United eventually prevailed 3-1 in the second fixture, courtesy of stoppage-time goals from Billy Sharp and Sander Berge.
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Sharp was at the centre of the post-match controversy, when he lashed out at Wrexham’s players in the media for looking ahead to a potential fifth-round clash with Tottenham prematurely. Dragons boss Phil Parkinson also claimed that unsavoury scenes unfolded in the tunnel after the final whistle.
“I am glad we’ve beaten them,” Sharp told ITV. “They are doing well in their league and we are doing well in ours but I wasn’t happy with a few of their players there. The way they’ve been as a club before the game, eyeing up Spurs before the game. They had not even beaten us.
“They thought we would just roll over when they got back in it and I think the referee was helping them as well, I don’t think he gave me one foul all night.”
In response, Parkinson added: “I thought [Sharp] was disrespectful after the game. I think the way the players celebrated and the crowd and staff was just a mark of how tough we made for them and they were relieved to get through. The message to Billy is: You’re better than that, you really are. My players are humble people and a great credit to the football club.”
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